Zameen turns one this month!! I will not glamorize the road to starting a business. I have worked at other startups, but I had no idea what to expect. It’s been a challenging road with some highs and lots of lows. Starting a business in a pandemic is difficult, especially when you come from a family with little to no generational wealth.
My partners on the ground have been helpful. Still, they are dealing with staffing shortages, and all the lockdowns take a toll on the financial health of the informal economies that work to make rural India function. From courier companies to folks who run food storage warehouses. To add to the list, there is a lot of red tape on shipping large quantities of spices from India to the US. In an ideal world, I would travel to India and set up the business there to never rely on other organizations to ship. Feels like a modern form of colonialism. However, since we are still in a pandemic, I question the ethics of traveling internationally, potentially spreading a variant, or bringing back a variant.
So, where do we go from here? Honestly, I don’t know. I have inventory waiting to ship from India, but our partner organization does not have all the paperwork to export. If you know anyone that can help us ship from India. Please reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org. They must be reliable, ethical, and invested in helping small farmers. Please only good folks. In the meantime, I am working with friends to figure out a method.
The photo below: is of Me (Rushi) and my dog Sridayv. Named after the famous Indian Actress. She's the only thing that keeps me from breaking down some days.